Introduction to Veterinary Medicine

The diseases of our domestic animals, which admit of cure, yield to as promptly to Homoeopathic medicines as those of man. There is a close identity between the physical organisations of the rational and irrational creatures, and whatever is capable of raising the physical condition of the former, is also, no doubt, capable of similarly influencing that of the latter….



As our Manual will doubtless fall into the hands of many who are unacquainted with that method of treatment known as the Homoeopathic, we shall briefly advert, by way of introduction, to some of its more prominent features; and at the same time state a few of the advantages which would accrue from its more extended and general adoption. Nor will these remarks be out of place in a Veterinary Guide, since they apply to the treatment of the inferior creatures, as well as to human beings.

The advantages of Homoeopathy are not the exclusive property of man; the irrational animals, happily, share the blessings of this great gift of God to His creatures. The diseases of our domestic animals, which admit of cure, yield to as promptly to Homoeopathic medicines as those of man. There is a close identity between the physical organisations of the rational and irrational creatures, and whatever is capable of raising the physical condition of the former, is also, no doubt, capable of similarly influencing that of the latter.

The cause of humanity, therefore, demands that the mild and merciful measures of Homoeopathy should be substituted for a practice which has long been a byword for whatever is rude, revolting, and barbarous. Our useful domestic animals have too long been in the hands of ignorant and designing men, who, under the pretence of understanding their diseases, inflict nameless tortures upon the helpless brutes; not for the purpose of curing their diseases, nor merely to impress the owners of the animals with the idea that they possess marvellous skill; but mainly with the view of justifying extravagant charges. The treatment of the diseases and accidents of animals should be conducted on principles as humane and scientific as those applied to man; and it is our object to promote these beneficial results.

HOMOEOPATHY is a system of curing all curable diseases, whether in man or the inferior animals, by the agency of small doses of those medicines which, when exhibited in large repeated doses, are capable of producing in the healthy body symptoms similar to those produced by the disease in the sick body. Or the principle may be thus more briefly expressed, –Similia Similibus curantur; that is, like is cured by like.

A little reflection will show the philosophy of this principle. The symptoms which arise in disease are not the disease itself; but are to be regarded, probably, as the efforts of nature, which always exerts itself to exterminate the disease,, and to restore the balance of the system. Every disease develops symptoms peculiar to itself; and the first inquiry of the truly scientific practitioner is, “In what direction is nature working to remove the disease and restore health?”

Having observed the character of nature’s efforts, he then seeks an agent that will call into action the same class of functions which nature is already employing for her own deliverance; and the curative power of this agent depends upon their it possesses of inducing similar symptoms to those developed by nature when suffering from disease. For instance, a person having exposed himself, takes cold, and fever results. The fever cannot be regarded as the cold, seeing that it came after it, but is a phenomenon, or symptom put on by nature in her efforts to remove the condition induced by the cold. Hence 2common sense dictates, that, if we would aid nature in her difficulty, we must act in perfect harmony with her; and not oppose or cripple her appliances.

To borrow a familiar illustration, we must lift just where nature is lifting. She must furnish the indications, and we must second hand efforts, by working in subserviency to her. The great secret of the healing art is to obtain familiarity with the symptomatic phenomena of nature in any disease, and then to become acquainted with the curative properties of the various remedial agents, so as to be able to administer them in harmony with this true guiding principle.

In the instance just referred to, the case of the person suffering from fever, Aconitum would be an appropriate medicine, because Aconitum given to a person in health in repeated doses, would produce feverish symptoms; consequently it acts upon the same class of vital functions that nature has already employed to rid herself on the disease. So in regard to the medicines in the whole Materia Medica; there is a harmony between the two great powers of these substances – their power of producing disease in the human body when administered in large doses, and their power, when given in small doses, of removing similar diseases arising from other causes.

1 The term is composed of two Greek words, meaning “like” and “affection”

The Homoeopathic law is declared by the illustrious Founder to be the law of healing, and, therefore, of wide and universal application. After seventy years’ experience, a host of medical men, many of them of great intelligence, high principle, and close observation, have amply confirmed the statement of Hahnemann; and this law is now adhered to, as true and unfailing, by tens of thousands of intelligent persons in every civilised portion of the globe.


1st.__ IT ONLY GIVES ONE REMEDY AT A TIME. The confusion resulting from mixing different substances in one prescription is avoided; and the pure action of each separate drug is ascertained. Every remedy has an action peculiar to itself; and it cannot but happen, when several drugs are introduced into the system at the same time, that they interfere with each other.

It, under such circumstances, good is effected, it is quite impossible to determine which one, or how many out of the number, have contributed to the result. Or, it no good follow, and it be necessary to alter the prescription, then it must be also equally difficult to know what change to make, what portions to omit, what new ones to add. In Homoeopathy we only give one medicine at a time; its action upon the system is then simple and unconflicting; nor are we any longer in doubt as to what is doing good.

2nd.__ SMALL DOSES. Homoeopathy does not, however, mean a small dose, as it is often supposed to do. The grand principle –that which forms the basis of the science –like curing like, irrespective of the quantity of the dose. The law, therefore, as a simple proposition, takes no cognisance of the dose; that was an after discovery –merely a consequence deduced from demonstrations on the principle itself. Hahnemann, after he had discovered the science, employed doses of the usual quantity.

Experience and further investigation, however, taught him that smaller doses were not only sufficient, but that they were, when frequently administered, more efficient that large ones. Apart from this, it is a matter of perfect indifference to Homoeopathic practitioners whether they administer doses of one or fifty drops each. Of doses of fifty drops were more efficient in curing disease than those of one or two drops, Homoeopaths would assuredly administer the former rather than the latter.

We will suggest two reasons why small doses, administered in strict harmony with the Homoeopathic law, are efficient:- First, because they are exactly suited to the exalted susceptibility of the diseased part, and action upon the same class of functions that nature has already called to her aid; and, secondly, because they act directly on the part which requires to be influenced, that nor on other parts. Their force is not, therefore, expended on healthy parts.

3rd.–HOMOEOPATHY ACTS ONLY ON DISEASED PARTS. In diseases of the brain, for example, the bowels are not operated on by purgatives; or the liver, mouth, and bones, by mercury; or the skin by blisters; but such substances are administered as have been proved to operate directly on the brain itself. So in diseases of the chest; the bowels, liver, and skin are undisturbed, and that part only acted upon in which disease exists. Under such treatment, disease cannot be produced in healthy parts, and the disappearance of the disease is a certain sign that it is absolutely cured.

4th.–HOMOEOPATHY IS NOT MERE FAITH. The success of the system in the cure of the diseases of irrational animals proves this. In strict truth, it is opposed to the general belief. Persons are generally slow to believe in Homoeopathy; and seldom have recourse to it, at first, without doubts and misgivings. The benefits which they derive are not because of, but in opposition to, their belief. Their faith grows and is confirmed only as their cure progresses and is complete.

A distinguished veterinary surgeon, Mr.Haycock, who is well acquainted with the old and the new systems of medicine, says of Homoeopathy:- “It cures disease more quickly; it does so without leaving any injurious effects upon the constitutional powers; it saves more animals, and it costs less.” It cannot be contended that the subjects of the curative powers of Homoeopathy here referred to – horses, cattle, sheep, etc. – are influenced in their recovery either by faith or imagination!

5th.- IT IS CHEAPER. This results from two causes – the duration of disease is shortened, and the medicine is obtained at a smaller cost. Animals treated Homoeopathically recover mush sooner. In severe disease, such as inflammation of the lungs or bowels, the patient is cured in about half the time; of the treatment having been directed against the disease, and not against the constitution, as soon as the malady is cured he is able at once to resume his accustomed duties.

To the industrious portions of the community, whose living depends upon their own exertions, the labour and produce of their domestic animals, or both, a speedy recovery is of great importance; and it is a well-known fact, that such inconvenience and want have often resulted from the injudicious and protracted appliances of the old system of medicine. In consequence of the small doses of medicine which it is found most advantageous to administer in Homoeopathic treatment, a great saving is effected in the cost of drugs.

Besides, it enables the owner of domestic animals except in rare cases to treat them himself, without being obliged to send, perhaps to a remote place, for a veterinary surgeon. As the diseases of animals are generally of an acute character, and rapidly terminate either in recovery or death, the delay thus occasioned is dangerous, and fatal results ensue in cases which would have easily yielded, had proper treatment been instituted from the commencement.

As confirmatory of the above paragraph, the following facts deserve record. Mr. Davis, the well-known huntsman of Her Majesty’s buckhounds, states in a recent number of the Field “that last season he only lost three whelps from distemper under Homoeopathic treatment; whilst previously, under the old system, he lost half his young hounds.” The value of his statement may be estimated by the fact that Mr. Davis has been connected with their royal hounds for more that half a century.

Mr. Moore, Homoeopathic Veterinary Surgeon, who has the sole treatment of all the Midland Railway horses in London, states, that during the past four years, only one death has occurred; and that during a severe epidemic, Mr. Newcombe, the agent of the Company, visited the stables of the various Railway Companies, and the illness among the horses was 12 per cent., and many deaths; whilst in the stud under Mr. Moore’s treatment, it was only 5 per cent. and no deaths-the average illness being only 2 1/2 per cent. per annum, including accidents. (Homoeopathic Review, Dec.1864.)


Bleeding, blistering, purging, and other painful and debilitating process are discarded; thus the period of convalescence is not only shortened, or even superseded, but the patient, having recovered of the disease, immediately regains his strength, because it has not been drained out of him.

The following case of CONGESTION OF THE LUNGS, treated by Mr. Moore, on the Homoeopathic system, and reported in the “British Journal of Homoeopathy” for July 1858, shows how disease is checked at once, without wasting the life power, or reducing the constitution. “I was requested to visit a valuable horse, the property of Mr. Walter Carter, of Manchester. Having been permitted to drink copiously of cold water, whilst perspiring and exhausted after a hard days labour, he had shortly afterwards a rigor (a sudden coldness with shivering) so violent that his legs tottered under him.

Three hours after this seizure I found the following symptoms :- Pulse strong, full, and 100 per minute (the normal pulse is 36), breathing laboured, and 84 per minute (the normal breathing is 8), conjunctiva injected, eyes watery, mouth hot and clammy to the touch, etc. To have Ammonium Causticum every hour. On the following morning the pulse counted 28 in the minute, and intermitted occasionally; all the other symptoms had disappeared and he eats, drinks, dungs, and stales as if nothing had been amiss. At two o’clock of the same day the pulse had risen to the healthy standard, and had assumed the usual character; in short, the horse was ‘all right’, and resumed work the next morning.”

How different is this to the old plan of treatment! A bucketful of blood would have been drained from this horse’s veins; his strength further reduced by the painful irritation of a mustard or fly blister applied over the entire surface of his two sides; he would have been racked by setons or rowels, and his bowels severely purged by aloes. And though such means may render the horse powerless, the disease often remains unsubdued. If he escapes the knacker, and after a month or six weeks mends, and finally recovers or is sent to grass for some months to regain his flesh, it not unfrequently happens that the animal is found unequal to severe or sustained exertion, in consequence of thick or broken wind, the result, not of the disease, but of the destructive treatment to which the afflicted animal has been subjected.

7th.- IT CURES DISEASES INCURABLE BY THE OLD SYSTEM. For instance, in PLEURO-PNEUMONIA, or LUNG DISEASE of cattle, the Homoeopathic system has effected cures, both numerous and incontestible. Peter Stuart Esq., of Ditton Lodge, near Warington, says: “I have treated upwards of one hundred and eighty cows, labouring under this malady; and of these one hundred and thirty were saved by Homoeopathic treatment.”

There were other good results besides, for the same gentleman adds: “Those that died under Homoeopathic treatment, died apparently without much suffering; individuals who had cows die under both modes of treatment expressed their astonishment at the ease with which those died that had Homoeopathic treatment, compared with the state of those that died under the common system of treatment.”

As applied to human beings, Homoeopathy would put an end to the torturous and inhuman treatment so often practised on the helpless and the dying, especially on children. “Why torture a dying creature, doctor? ” were the words and remonstrance of Douglas Jerrold to his medical attendant without a few hours of his death. The doctor insisted on administering medicine and cupping when he could scarcely move in bed.

His son and biographer, Blanchard says: “we waved the fans about him, giving him air, and still, at intervals, he talked faintly but most collectedly. The dawn grew into a most lovely summer morning. At ten o’clock the patient was cupped. He could hardly move in bed, and again said, ‘Why torture a dying creature, doctor? ‘ But the cupping took no effect.” This is a sad picture. Thank God, Homoeopathy is putting a stop to the use of such inhuman means, by substituting natural and gentle appliances; such as shall conserve the life powers, and diminish, not aggravate, existing sufferings.

So in other diseases, ordinarily attended with great fatality, or wholly incurable, the superiority of the Homoeopathic system is strikingly manifest.

If these and other advantages appertain to Homoeopathy, DOES IT PROGRESS, AND IS IT LIKELY TO BECOME UNIVERSAL? Most great discoveries and improvements have been obstinately opposed at first; but have triumphed in the end. Homoeopathy, in spite of the bitterest and most unprincipled opposition, from the first announcement of it by its great discoverer and heroic propounder, has continued to spread in an ever-increasing ratio, till now its boundaries are the boundaries only of the habitable globe. Wherever modern civilisation has penetrated, Homoeopathy, which its countless blessings, has followed in its track.

If it could not be destroyed in its early infancy, there is little to fear for it now that it is grown to the proportions of a giant. The public are everywhere embracing the new system. And though the public might have been deceived on its first introduction, such deception could not continue to be practised. Deception is such matters cannot last long. Nearly all its present adherents have been converted from the old system, through experiencing or witnessing the superior advantages of the new system, in spite, as it were, of those deep-rooted prejudices which it is difficult entirely to discard.

Thousands of families, on the other hand, are being reared up under Homoeopathy, who have never espoused, and probably never will, any other system. The predilections of such will be in the right direction, and they will become its consistent and unwavering advocates. Judging, then, of the future by the light of the past, and believing the saying that “truth is mighty and must prevail,” we are led to the inevitable conclusion that the doctrines of Hahnemann will ultimately penetrate and pervade all lands, and become the exclusive mode of curing disease.

LIST OF MEDICINES FOR INTERNAL USE With the dilutions and English names.


1. Aconitum Napellus 1 Monkshood

2. Ammonium Causticum 1 Caustic Ammonia

3. Arnica Montana 1 Leopard’s Bane

4. Arsenicum Album 3x White Arsenic

5. Belladonna 1 Deadly Nightshade

6. Bryonia Alba 1 White Bryony

7. Cantharis 3x Spanish Fly

8. Chamomilla 1 Wild Camomile

9. China 1 Peruvian Bark

10. Cina 1 Worm Seed

11. Colocynthis 1 Bitter Cucumber

12. Dulcamara 1 Woody nightshade

13. Helleborus Niger 1 Black Hellebore

14. Hepar Sulphur 3x Liver of Sulphur

15. Ipecacuanha 1 Ipecacuanha Root

16. Mercurious Vivus 3x Quicksilver

17. Nux Vomica 1 Vomit Nut

18. Phosphorus 4x Phosphorus

19. Pulsatilla 1 Pasque Flower

20. Rhus Toxicodendron 1 Poison Oak

21. Secale 1 Ergot of Rye

22. Silicea 3x Silex

23. Sulphur 3x Flowers of Sulphur

24. Veratrum Album 1 White Hellebore.

And the strong Homoeopathic preparation of CAMPHOR, which must be kept separate from the other remedies.

In additional to the foregoing remedies, the author recommends the following

TRITURATIONS: Arsenicum 2x, Mercurius 2x, and Sulphur 2x

To be kept separate from the tinctures.


Arnica Montana. Calendula Officinalis. Rhus Toxicodendron.

The external remedies, and their uses, are described pages xxviii-xxx.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE MEDICINES. -The required quantity of the Tinctures should be mixed with a few spoonfuls of pure cold water, and given by means of small horns. Where two medicines are required to be given in turns, two horns should be used. After a horn has been used for one medicine it is particularly necessary that it should be well washed out before it is used for another. The Triturations may be placed dry on the tongue of the animal, or mixed with a morsel of a favourite article of food.

MEDICINE TO BE GIVEN WHEN FASTING.– In all cases, when practicable, the medicines should be given to animals when they have been for some time without food, say fifteen to thirty minutes before they are fed.

THE DOSE.– As a general rule, for animals of an average size, ten drops of the tincture may be given to horses or cattle, or two grains of the trituration; and to sheep, swine, or dogs, five drops or one grain of the trituration. As these animals vary in size, the above quantities may be regulated accordingly.

REPETITION OF DOSES.– This is a matter which must depend entirely upon the severity of the disease. In very violent cases, the dose may be given every ten, fifteen, or thirty minutes; in cases less severe, every two, three, or four hours; in chronic cases, once or twice daily. More particular directions as to the repetition of doses, will be found in the body of this work.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT REMEDY. – This is a subject of great importance. The compiler of this work strongly recommends every one who has an interest in domestic animals, to read this book carefully through, from the first page to the last, especially to study the symptoms of the different diseases, so that when an animal is suffering, he may be able to detect the nature and seat of the complaint, and thus be able to adopt such treatment as may reasonably be expected to prove successful. It may here be remarked that, in the treatment of each malady in subsequent parts of this book, all the remedies suitable are not prescribed, but only those most generally useful, and by which the greatest number of cures have been effected.

Before a state of disease can be correctly estimated, it is necessary to have an acquaintance with the general appearances and habits of the animal in a STATE OF HEALTH; such as the appearance of the eye, the mouth, the skin, the dung, and the urine; the breathing, the pulse, the general temperature of the body; the ease with which the animal stands or walks, and other similar matters, familiarity with which will at once enable the owner to mark any deviation from the symptoms indicative of ordinary good health.

Edward Harris Ruddock
Ruddock, E. H. (Edward Harris), 1822-1875. M.D.

Author of "The Stepping Stone to Homeopathy and Health,"
"Manual of Homoeopathic Treatment". Editor of "The Homoeopathic World."